Creativity promotes happiness and vice versa said by Psychologists. Many adults believe they’re not creative but acknowledge that they probably were as children. Experts say most people can rekindle that childlike creativity and so derive happiness from even mundane activities. Here, UT-Austin Professor Kevin Dalby takes a closer look.
A quote attributed to Pablo Picasso says, “every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” The pressures and responsibilities of adulthood often suppress the joy of creativity. Navigating the obstacles of gaining an education, providing for a family, and raising children leaves precious little time to develop and maintain a creative outlet.
The mental health benefits of creativity are multifaceted. Creativity can help reduce depression, stress, and anxiety. It can also help trauma survivors process their experiences. Studies have found that creative writing helps people regulate their negative emotions. Drawing and painting help people express feelings and relate experiences they find too difficult to speak about. Children and youth with ADHD can benefit from origami to help them feel calm and relaxed.
Engaging in a creative outlet improves mental health and elicits a physical response to promote happiness. When people create a positive result, such as reaching a goal or completing a project, their brains are flooded with dopamine. A hit of this feel-good chemical motivates them to engage in the behavior more often to feel pleasure.
An activity that produces pleasure and contentment while increasing confidence and satisfaction is a creative outlet that provides mental and physical health benefits. These activities vary from person to person, but common positive, creative outlets include:
Creating and performing music
A list of creative endeavors that help people feel happy could be nearly endless. An excellent creative outlet should be more than just fun. Each individual would be well served to consider what activities they enjoy and allow themselves to create something. For example, golfing can be fun and relaxing, but very little, if anything, exists after the game. Sports provide a myriad of benefits, but when it comes to realizing the full benefits of creativity, an activity that adds to the total of what exists is most beneficial.
For busy adults finding an artistic outlet can be challenging. Often building a mutualistic symbiotic relationship between work and pleasure is the answer. Many people are happy, love their work, and yet could not cite any creative outlet they engage in. These people have already learned to be imaginative in their work. If the workday is a struggle, seems endless, and is not fulfilling, look for opportunities to be creative.
Finding new and better ways to solve work-related problems, construct new computer code, build a house, and produce an improved spreadsheet are all creative outlets that enhance happiness. If adult life pressures do not leave any time for creative pursuits, people can still achieve satisfaction by finding ways to creatively go about workday tasks. This is what children do. From building a tower to coloring a picture to playing make-believe, children engage in creative outlets regularly. We are happiest when we are creating something of value.
About Kevin Dalby
Dr. Kevin Dalby is a UT-Austin medicinal chemistry professor. He is researching the mechanisms of cancer cell signaling to develop targeted therapeutics. Dr. Dalby’s efforts were recognized by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and the National Institutes of Health, granting him nearly $5 million to support his research.
Originally published on techlogitic.com It is no secret that our world is going through a crisis. With an unpredictable virus in the air, along with an economically damaging quarantine, how do you stay mentally sane? The answer is building mental resilience. Psychologists define mental resilience as adapting successfully and proactively in the face of stressful situations such as trauma, tragedy, severe health, or relationship problems. Those who build mental resilience do not let the world drag them down for long. Kevin Dalby, Austin -based professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry at the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas, notes that it is essential to continually work at healthy mental practices to keep your mind in the right place. Below, Dalby shares five ways to build mental resilience during a crisis, such as the current pandemic. Way #1: Let Go of What You Cannot Control When your life gets rocked, and you are trying to balance re
Originally published on explosion.com While at work, you want to be as effective and productive as possible. Sometimes, though, if not particularly stimulated by the task at hand, our minds will start to wander and lose focus. In this article, Dr. Kevin Dalby, an Austin-based professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, reveals his secrets to staying mentally present and aware while working. 1. Do Mindfulness Exercises to Stay Sharp Mindfulness exercises can assist you in grounding yourself and remaining present while you are working. This practice is especially helpful in high-stress situations or when completing monotonous tasks that do not require a lot of thinking. Meditation or simple breathing exercises can help keep your mind clear and focused. Apps like Headspace or Calm can help you to get started if you’ve never meditated before. 2. Use Reminders Sometimes, all we need is a little reminder to do what we are supposed to . The mind naturally wanders, but we nee
Originally published on thriveglobal.com Life expectancy in the United States is about 78 years, though longevity is not without medical concerns. As many as one in three Americans will develop malignant cells in their lifetime. While the scientific community has significantly increased their understanding of cancer in recent years and applied that knowledge to treatment, prevention research remains a top priority; however, since cancer is a series of diseases, the exact cause is not always known. Genetics plays an important role, yet so does diet and lifestyle. Dr. Kevin Dalby, professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, is studying the mechanisms of cancer cells and currently working on cancer drug discovery. His research primarily focuses on developing targeted therapeutics, but he does acknowledge that specific behavioral changes can help lower a person’s risk for cancer. The Harvard School of Public Health estimates that 75% of American cancer deaths could